The excavation of Tollund Man
Eight days after the crate with Tollund Man had been sent off, it arrived at the National Museum. Amidst the haste no accompanying description had been enclosed, leaving the National Museum in doubt as to the intentions with it. Regardless the crate was opened and an excavation began. The person given the task of carrying out the excavation was conservator Knud Thorvildsen who had been responsible for three other excavations of bog bodies in the Borremose. The work took place in open air, in the courtyard of the National Museum, and every by-passer was immediately stricken by the fantastically well-preserved face. In the meantime a letter arrived from barrister Otto Bisgaard from Silkeborg Museum expressing interest in exhibiting the find conserved in its entirety at Silkeborg Museum. The head of the National Museum’s prehistoric Department, senior curator Therkel Mathiasen advises against this as he believes it would be too “macabre”. Instead he offers a conservation of the well preserved head. After the body had been comprehensively photographed following complete excavation at the National Museum, it was transported to Bispebjerg Hospital where it was x-rayed. Upon the completion of an autopsy of the body the head was dismembered from the body in order to preserve it for the future.
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